Since winning the grand jury prize at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, The Kid with a Bike has been pocketing praise like it’s award show swag. It has a ridiculous 96 percent critics’ approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes that makes you think the filmmaking brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne paid someone off—but no, the film seems to be soaring on its own merits. The latest drama by the Belgian brothers tells the heartwrenching story of an 11-year-old boy who’s abandoned by his father and inadvertently becomes the ward of a local hairdresser. Young Cyril (newcomer Thomas Doret) looks like a hardened Tintin, quick to anger—you’d be too if your sad-sack dad sold your bike—but there’s a surprising surplus of hope in this movie, as Cyril and his kindly guardian (Cécile de France) show how resilient people can actually be.
The Kid with a Bike has only been showing at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown this month. It closes April 19, so add it to your calendar this week.
The Kid with a Bike
87 minutes, French with English subtitles
Apr 16–19, $7–$10, SIFF Cinema at the Uptown